By John Kruzel
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a request by federal prosecutors to immediately review his claim that he cannot be prosecuted for trying to overturn his 2020 election defeat.
Trump made the court filing in response to an extraordinary request by U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith that if granted would put Trump’s claim of criminal immunity before the justices even as a lower court races to rule on the issue.
Trump asked the justices to reject Smith’s request for the Supreme Court to weigh in before the lower appeals court does, which could bog down the legal process down and delay the start of his trial, currently set for March.
Prosecutors have accused Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, of attempting to obstruct Congress and defraud the U.S. government through schemes to reverse Democrat Joe Biden’s November 2020 election win.
Trump’s lawyers wrote in the filing that the Special Counsel is urging the justices to bypass the normal appellate process, including a decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, “and rush to decide the issues with reckless abandon. The court should decline that invitation at this time.”
(Reporting by John Kruzel; Editing by Scott Malone)